The Rant 

I think I am going to become a Republican. It's because I worry too much. See, I work with a lot of kids who are very poor. Sometimes their parents can't afford enough food to keep them well fed. Forget owning a home. Lots of them can barely pay the rent on their apartments. And then there are the homeless. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who has been off the streets for a year now, living in a rented room and working at a low-paying job but making it okay. He was $30 short of his rent money, and his landlord was giving him four days to come up with it before putting him back out on the streets. He was in the process of scraping it together somehow. He is far from alone in this predicament. I worry about these kinds of things all the time. But then I saw that John McCain's wife, Cindy, as she was addressing the devotees at the Republican convention, was wearing that now-famous outfit that has the fashion columnists going wild. In case you haven't heard, it was worth somewhere in the range of $300,000. Yes, one outfit. More than a quarter of a million dollars. Earrings alone estimated at, oh, about $280,000, according to Vogue magazine. According to the Associated Press, she wore a saffron-colored Oscar de la Renta shirt dress with a popped collar, diamond earrings, a four-strand pearl necklace, Chanel watch, and "strappy" shoes. She did look very nice. And apparently, since she knew she would be watched by millions of people, it didn't bother her that while she was singing her presidential hopeful husband's praises while wearing $300,000 worth of threads and jewels, we "little people" are out here hoping to keep our homes out of foreclosure and getting weak in the knees and wallet when we fill our car tanks with gas. I admire that kind of confidence. How can anyone question that she and John McCain are not interested in the concerns of the average American, when she went to such great lengths to look so good for us. Of course, the big buzz now is the comparison between her style and that of Alaska's governor and McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin. Sarah is a bit more on the subtle side. She prefers neutral colors and wears funny glasses. I assume it's because she is more concerned about telling people that a certain gas pipeline in Alaska and the war in Iraq are "God's will" than she is about which designer's clothing to wear. She also likely spent a lot of time practicing that speech that she delivered so well. I would love to know who wrote it. And to be fair, Cindy McCain has set up and been involved in a number of nonprofit charitable organizations, and she beat a serious pain-pill addiction. And she probably does feel a little bad about the adulterous affair she had with the man she's now married to (the one running for president of the United States) while he was married to his first wife, who had been severely injured in an automobile accident but wouldn't let her then-husband John know about it because he was a POW and she didn't want to worry him. I'm not altogether sure why Cindy refuses to acknowledge that she has two half-sisters from her parents' first marriages. Seems that her father, the late beer tycoon James Hensley, did take care of one of his daughters, Kathleen Hensley Portalski, on occasion and helped support her and her family but left her only $10,000 in his will when he died in 2000. Cindy got the 100 or so other million dollars. That might be why she refuses to acknowledge her half-sister's existence, even though they have the same father. Of course, there could be any number of reasons for that. Plus, it doesn't really matter because Cindy McCain is not running for president. But it sure would be nice to be the wife of the Republican presidential candidate and get to dress up in one outfit that cost $300,000 and tell millions of people that her husband is the man we should vote for because country comes first to him, and he cares about the average American. Sounds like fun to me!



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